Dog breeder builds school for customers
Posted Monday, June 3 2013 at 18:13
- Timothy Githogori has big names in client list including President Uhuru family.
A few kilometres from Naivasha town is a building named Wa-madogs. What? Wa-madogs? Well, it means “one who belongs to, or trains, dogs.” Inside the building is a rare business name: Wa-madogs Dogs Training Academy.
The centre trains people who plan to keep dogs on how to handle the animals. It also equips those who have a passion for dogs, yet can’t go near them because of fear, with skills to deal with them.
Disappointed by the way most people mistreated dogs, Timothy Githogori was convinced that they needed formal training to enable them relate with man’s best friend. Every time he sold a dog to a client he was left a worried man, particularly when he was not sure of how the new owner would handle the canine.
“For me parting with a dog is emotional enough, but being unsure of the happy future of the same gives me sleepless nights,” said Mr Githogori.
The handsome earnings he gets from the business should leave him smiling all the way to the bank. But after a deal Mr Githogori is often worries about how the dog will be treated by the new owner.
Though Mr Githogori has been in dog business for the last 16 years, it was not until three months ago that he set up the school. The Naivasha-based dog breeder said that he had noticed the desire of many people to keep the canines, especially for security reasons. But he also noticed their ignorance when it came to caring for the animals.
Mr Githogori started hosting dog bazaars in various towns around the country in a bid to take his ‘‘service’’ closer to his potential clients.
“I would advertise in the local media my plans to visit different towns and host dog bazaars,” said Mr Githogori.
The popularity of the bazaars pointed to high demand for dogs, he said. He has held bazaars in Kitale, Eldoret, Nairobi, Kericho, Naivasha and Maela, adding that they were well attended.
He also noticed the fact that many people shied away from keeping dogs for fear of handling them.
“Women in particular did not even go close to a puppy let alone handle a mature dog,” said Mr Githogori.
The experience became an inspiration for setting up the school. A full-time course, which takes one month, costs Sh50,000. Mr Githogori said that business was on the rise and more people were attending his training sessions.
Some of the fee, he said, goes towards vaccinating the dogs used in training against rabies to ensure the safety of trainees.
“Even when the dogs have been vaccinated before, we have to do it as trainees watch to rest any doubts,” he said.
Mr Githogori said he has trained more than 20 people, including five women.
His journey into the dog breeding business started when he travelled to Tanzania as marketing manager for a local alcoholic drinks company.